Horseshoe Lessons

DADDY TOOK MY HORSE, SMOKEY, TO THE BLACKSMITH TO GET NEW SHOES. I was about 7 years old, in about 1945.  With wide-eyes I watched as the blacksmith put iron in the fire.  He left it there until it got red hot.  Then he pulled it out with a big, long wrench or something, and placed it on the anvil – red hot!  He beat on it, banged on it and sparks began to fly! Because the iron was so hot it was kinda soft. He hammered and hammered and he twisted it into a horseshoe. He already knew Smokey’s size.  He put it in the water and it sizzled. He made 4 of them.  Smokey just stood there watching. I was wide-eyed.  When the blacksmith put them on Smokey, he was happy. Smokey was happy, too.

  1. I thought this was gonna be really bad with all the fire, noise and beating. Maybe Smokey did, too.
  2. Daddy knew exactly who to go to for brand new shoes.
  3. Daddy loved Smokey and so did I.  In a way, I think the blacksmith did, in his own way.
  4. Neither Daddy nor the blacksmith would dare to hurt Smokey.
  5. The blacksmith knew what he was doing and in no way would he hurt Smokey.
  6. I learned some lessons from that day.
    a.  GOD DOES NOT cause us to suffer;
    b.  He uses lots of things to make our life better;
    c.  Since He is LOVE, he knows just the right things to do to make the “shoe” fit;
    d.  He perfectly understands that things may look scary, but all in all the shoes He puts on us will protect us when we run over rough ground.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (kjv)   🎼🎶

“When I am swept by the tempests of life,
Jesus is all I need.
Peace He imparts whatsoever the strife,
Jesus is all I need.
“All that I need He will always be.
All that I need till His face I see.
All that I need thro’ eternity.
Jesus is all I need.”
(James Rowe)

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THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

THERE ARE FLASHLIGHTS AND CANDLES. There are little insects that procreate light – like lightening bugs.  Fire produces light. There are electric lights.  Light can be generated by using petroleum and wood and other things. It’s no secret that our main source of light is the sun.  You can close your eyes and shut out the light. [Don’t get technical with me.]

The older I get the more I need light, lots of it!  There are green lights, red, blue, yellow and on & on.

Light is wonderful.  And get this, light is fast … very fast – 670,616,629 miles per hour or 186,282 miles per second (approx. 298,960 kilometers per second).

Our Great God created light and He did it because when He created the universe, the heavens and the earth were without form, and void and  “the earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit was moving over the water. Then God said, ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, so he divided the light from the darkness.”
Genesis 1:2-4

There is inner light and inner darkness, too.  Unfortunately, everyone born into this fallen world has experienced inner darkness. Oh, I’m longing for that day of no darkness, no sadness, no death, no hurt, no sickness, no deception, no sin, no Satan!

A new form of light will forever brighten eternity with the face of the Son of God!

“The sun will no longer be your light during the day nor will the brightness from the moon be your light, because the LORD will be your light forever, and your God will be your glory.”
Isaiah 60:19 (ncv)

“The WORD [Christ] gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
John 1:4-5 (nlt)

“The ONE who is the true light … came into the very world he created ….”
John 1:9-10 (nlt)

Yes, Jesus came!

“The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
“Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!
(P. P. Bliss)

Sanctuary Cities

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE SANCTUARY CITIES OF TODAY and the cities of refuge (sanctuary cities) of Biblical times is essentially twofold:
1. In the Biblical directive, they were a temporary (although extended in some cases) place to sort things out due to an accidental killing outside the city.
2. Outside the city, the aggrieved family of the person killed were allowed to kill or seek retribution against the person who accidentally killed someone. “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭21:23-24‬ ‭(kjv)  [Now I’m not the sonofanattorney so there are a few other little dohickies in there, so keep it simple-KISS.]
3. The Torah designated only six cities for sanctuary.
4. The “sanctuary” cities were NOT allowed to violate the broader Mosaic Law!
Our Left-leaning politicians of today seem to always take something good, twist it, dilute it, pour sugar on it, or subvert it then shove it down our American throat!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a [nation] soweth, that shall [it] also reap.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7‬ ‭(kjv)
[pardon the paraphrase]

ANGELS!

ANGELS!  ARE CHRISTIANS SUPPOSED TO AVOID SPEAKING OF ANGELS?  SHOULD CHRISTIANS BACK OFF AND LET THE CRAZIES AND “NEW AGERS” confiscate Biblical truth and make little cherubim for us to cuddle?
Orthodox Christian Theology always goes first to the Bible.  Everything below is Biblical without question!

1.  Angels are created by God.

2.  They are not God or gods.

3.  Angels are not human.

4.  When we are born, Scripture seems to indicate they care for humans at birth, and when humans die they do not become angels.

5.  God may have created millions of them (who knows?).

6.  Satan was a rebellious angel; fallen, a deceiver, destroyer, a tempter, epitome of death – I will not continue with him in this article.

7.  God sends His holy angels from time to time as a singing chorus or mighty army.

8.  God gave instructions in the Book of Exodus to use cherubim (little ones – in the plural) and seraphim in the tabernacle architecture.

9.  There are a type of angels so awesome that the Bible describes them in almost scary terms; they look like a human, but have multiple faces and wings and such power as to cause earthquakes.

10.  Throughout the Bible angels have appeared; opened jail doors and graves, appeared as warriors, been seen in fire, and even animals have recognized them.

11.  Yes, in some places, Jesus may appear as an angel, but not in the sense that He is one of the created ones.

12.  Angels are subject to Christ’s authority.

Satan and his minions have tried to steal away the Biblical theology of angels. Priests and pastors have avoided the mention of angels thinking that it may take away from the glory given only to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Others have tried to use the belief in angels to promote supernaturalism or a psychology tied to money.
Although angels are NOT God and NOT human beings, The Great God of Heaven created them as messengers; there may be multiplied millions, they sing, they assist, they have more power than humans, THEY ARE NOT TO BE WORSHIPPED!

“That evening two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground.”
Genesis 19:1 (nlt)
“But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!’”
Genesis 19:4-5 (nlt)
“So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing.”
Genesis 19:6-7 (nlt)
“But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.”
Genesis 19:10-11 (nlt)
The angels tell Lot:
“‘For WE are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.’”
Genesis 19:13 (nlt)
“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘DO NOT BE AFRAID.’”
Acts 27:23-24 (niv)
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 (nlt)

ANGELS ARE MENTIONED OVER 200 times in the Bible. I presume many books could be written analyzing each verse, but needless to say, this world has been visited by these messengers of God. They are with us today!

I Know What You’re Thinking

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING – one or more of the following questions as it relates to your relationship to Christ:

1. “If I behave myself and be a good little girl (or boy), God will accept me and all will be well.”

“If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise [of God] into an ironclad contract! [But] That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal.”
Romans 4:13-15 (msg)
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Ephesians 2:8 (kjv)

2. “Who? Me? Everybody does it! Are you accusing me? You’re not perfect either so don’t go preaching to me!”

Nope.  Not preaching because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 3:23 (kjv)  and,
“I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Psalms 51:5 (kjv)

3. “I don’t think you know how bad I’ve been; in fact, how bad I am now!”

Well, Abraham was a liar.
Moses, David and the Apostle Paul were murderers.
Jacob was a deceiver.
The Apostle Peter was a denier and a bully.  You know what, through God’s amazing mercy and grace my life was changed, too.

4. “It can’t be that easy.” I agree. It was Jesus that took it all.  And that’s what makes it so hard because you think you need to be punished.  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
Romans 5:8-9 (niv)

5. “O, so I can just accept and I don’t have to change anything? I’m really not that bad.”  I’ve heard that before. It’s as old as early humanity.  “They tell their spiritual leaders, ‘Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.’ They tell their preachers, ‘Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with [holy things].’”
Isaiah 30:8-11 (msg)
If you want to deceive yourself or go on living like the devil, if you want to be an inch deep and a mile wide, if you want to have bouts of stupidity, if you want to go from hurt to hate and back again, or if you are arrogant enough to think you can stick your finger in God’s eye, then stay with your old lifestyle.  You’ll be up and down without peace, without real joy; dirty inside. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (kjv)

6. “You may not believe this, but I tried being a Christian one time and it didn’t work.”

What, were you doing a performance or something? Were you trying to use a can opener?  Is that what you think the Christian life is like, a “trying out” for a job?
“For this is how God loved you: He gave His one and only Son, so that when you believe in him you will not perish but have eternal life. God gave his Son to you not to judge the judge you, but to save you through him.”
John 3:16-17 (nlt-paraphrase)
“If you confess your sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive  your sins and to cleanse you from all wickedness.”
1 John 1:9 (nlt-paraphrase)

7. SO WHEN YOU ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY CONFESS, REPENT AND BELIEVE, He will be right there to love you, support you and give you strength and hope!

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
Isaiah 30:21 (nlt)

🎼🎶
“OUT OF MY BONDAGE, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.”
(William T. Sleeper)

YOU’RE GOING TO JAIL!

I’LL GUARANTEE YOU THAT YOU HAVE VIOLATED THE LAW IN THE LAST 5 YEARS!  The Highway Patrol or the IRS or the Department of Social Services or the Department of Garbage and Collections, someone, could find something of which to accuse you.  You may have even committed something that would require jail.   You may think you are as pure as the driven snow, but someone somewhere could find something damaging against you.

Guaranteed!

Read the following from Romans as Paul explained how the law is inadequate for salvation.

“That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do [or wouldn’t do].  …  If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise [of God] into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal.  A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect.  But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise —and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it.”
Romans 4:13-15 (msg)

“If people could receive what God promised by following the law, then faith is worthless. … because the law can only bring God’s anger. But if there is no law, there is nothing to disobey. So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. ….”
Romans 4:14-16 (ncv)

Right now, we are witnessing the nitpicking of the law where lives will be ruined and some may pay a high penalty.  Do you want to serve a God who nitpicks at you all the time, ready to write you a ticket or sue you in an eternal court of punishment? Or, do you want to open your heart to the One who said,  “‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’”
Matthew 11:28-30 (msg)

“Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.”
(Frederick M. Lehman)

The Slug

WE EXITED OUR ROOM AT THE HERITAGE HOUSE (“Same Time Next Year”) right on the beautiful Pacific Ocean, waves crashing into the huge boulders far below, warm sunshine. Why did I notice that large Limax Flavus slug in the parking lot? Well, the night before it was close to the steps to our room about 50-60 feet away – same slug! I knew it was the same one because I could see it’s little slimey trail.  He was heading for some foliage on the other side. A slug travels as slow or slower than a snail, but he keeps on heading to the goodies.

Image.jpg

My friend, you may be slow, but keep on keeping on.  NEVER GIVE UP!  No one but you has your same vision. No one can take your place.  The Great God of the Universe, The Redeemer of your soul, wants to hear from you.  Keep praying.  Keep PRAISING!

“‘Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.’” SAID JESUS.
Matthew 7:7 (nlt)

JESUS told this little story.

“‘A widow of that city came to him [a Judge] repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
Luke 18:3-5 (nlt)
“Tis true, oh, yes, ’tis true,
God’s wonderful promise is true;
For I’ve trusted, and tested, and tried it,
And I know God’s promise is true.”
(Mrs. C. H. Morris)

Anxiety!

ANXIETY! PSYCHIATRISTS, COUNSELORS, PASTORS and others who are in the helping/healing professions deal regularly with upset, scared, anxious people. There are a thousand reasons why people live lives of distress and uneasiness.  Even the Psalmist said, “ … my soul refused to be comforted.”

Psalms 77:2 (kjv)

It’s far beyond my ability to provide a complete answer, but I’m convinced that the closest answer is this:

“Be careful for nothing [force yourself to reject worry]; but in every [little] thing by prayer [when was the last time you got alone with God] supplication [humble prayer] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God [tell Him – He loves to hear you praise Him].  And [this is what is going to happen] the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (kjv)

I have NEVER read anything in the Bible that in order to have peace you should eat cheese with your whine!  It says,

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!”
Philippians 4:4-5 (msg)

You Think You Have Problems?

YOU THINK YOU HAVE PROBLEMS?  THE LORD gave us this illustration about Job.

  • He was rich and threw big parties.
  • He pleased God.
  • He was attacked by Satan.
  • Tragedy struck and he lost everything.
  • In it all, Job didn’t sin, and blessed God to boot.
  • But then he lost his health and got stinking boils all over his body.
  • His wife began to bug him and said, “Why don’t you just curse God and die.”  Nice woman, huh?
  • Job kept his mouth shut. Smart guy.
  • Job, being human, teetered on the edge of despondency and said, “What I ALWAYS FEARED has finally happened.” There’s a lesson here.
  • To top it off, his fair weather friend, Eliphaz, claimed he got a secret message from a spirit and Job’s hair stood on end (scared spitless). Of course it was bad news. They never bring good news.
  • Job’s other friends also chimed in with bad news.
  • Once again, being human Job started to question God. “Don’t just condemn me – tell me why you are doing this to me!”  God didn’t cause his problems and He didn’t answer.
  • Then Job came to his senses. His faith in God was stronger than his pain.
  • “God may kill me for this, nevertheless, I’m gonna argue my case before him.” That’s reasonable.
  • So Job prayed (AMEN!): “O God, I’m gonna keep this simple. Two things: (1) don’t abandon me; (2) don’t terrify me with your awesome presence.”
  • Job’s “friends” began to bug him again.
  • WE BETTER TAKE NOTE OF THIS – “There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me, in highest heaven, some ATTORNEY who can clear my name— My CHAMPION, my FRIEND, while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.”   (Job 16:17-20)
  • Job didn’t give up. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27)
  • “So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” (Job 42:12)

    JUST ASKIN’: DID ANY LIGHTS COME ON?